I grew up not knowing how to make buttercream. It’s true. I remember that Jiffy used to sell a little box of “frosting mix” that you just added butter to, and I thought I needed to buy that mix and add butter in order to make frosting. Then I grew up, got my own place, and was given a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, circa 1990, and my life was changed forever. Back in the early 1990’s we didn’t have the wealth of information available to us that we have now – Pinterest, Food Network, etc. This is not a fancy cookbook, but everything in it works. I highly recommend it as a gift for newlyweds or someone just starting on their own.
This is an easy, crusting recipe for simple vanilla buttercream that I adapted from this cookbook. It is very sweet and very rich. I think it’s perfect for cookies because it crusts so well.
- ¼ cup (4 tbsp) very soft salted butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract, or flavoring of choice
- 3 tbsp milk, or liquid of choice (add more if necessary to achieve desired consistency)
- Whip butter until soft and fluffy.
- Add 1 cup powdered sugar and blend until combined.
- Add vanilla and milk (or liquid of choice) and blend well.
- Then gradually add the rest of powdered sugar to desired consistency.
- Beat about 5 minutes. Color will gradually lighten with beating.
- Store on counter for 5 days or refrigerator for two weeks. Freezes well.